School Nutrition Stakeholders Find Utility in MealSim: An Agent-Based Model

Shelly Palmer, MS, RDN1; Iulia Ciubotariu, MS1; Roland Ofori, PhD1; Mayra Saenz, MA2;Brenna Ellison, PhD3; Melissa Pflugh Prescott, PhD, RDN4
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This research article explores the utility of MealSim, an agent-based model, among school nutrition stakeholders for improving food service operations and reducing food waste. Through qualitative methods involving discussion groups, the study gathered feedback on MealSim’s representation of school nutrition environments and their potential applications. Stakeholders recognized the model's utility for training and policy advocacy, particularly for elementary schools. The findings underscore the importance of involving stakeholders in model development to ensure relevance and applicability in school settings.